The policy shift limits the validity of travel visas for party members and their families to one month and a single entry, the newspaper reported, citing people familiar with the matter. However, it said earlier reports that the USA was considering travel restrictions showed the Trump administration's "hatred and abnormal mindset towards the Communist Party".
"For decades we allowed the CCP free and unfettered access to U.S. institutions and businesses while these same privileges were never extended freely to USA citizens in China", a State Department spokesperson was quoted as saying.
When asked about the legislation on Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying told reporters that Beijing "firmly opposes politicising securities regulation" and called for enhancing dialogue and cooperation.
It wasn't clear how the restrictions would be enforced since numerous party's 92 million members do not play active public roles in its institutions. "The expectation there is that President Xi will abstain from making any further moves where the U.S.is concerned (or at least material moves) until President-elect Joe Biden is sworn into office".
Washington and Beijing have also clashed over China's handling of the coronavirus outbreak, its tightening grip on Hong Kong, its disputed claims in the South China Sea, trade and accusations of human rights crimes in Xinjiang. Only 61 B-1/B-2 visas were issued to mainland Chinese nationals in October, compared with more than 60,000 in the same month previous year, according to State Department figures.
Diplomatic ties hit a low point over the summer when the U.S. ordered the closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston and China responded by demanding the United States vacate its consulate in the southwestern city of Chengdu.
Action on the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act comes as Biden has revealed that he plans to keep import tariffs on China in place early in his presidency.
Until now, party members had been able to obtain United States visitor visas that last up to 10 years.
Beijing did not initially confirm the new restrictions from Washington.
The measure passed by unanimous voice vote, after passing the Senate earlier this year, sending it to the White House where President Donald Trump is expected to sign it into law.